Deepwater Horizon rig on fire the day after the rig blew out, April 21, 2010.  Image: U.S. Coast Guard.

Deepwater Horizon rig on fire the day after the rig blew out, April 21, 2010. Image: U.S. Coast Guard.

Is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush? Apparently government and industry lawyers both think so.

Beach goers react to oiling of northern Florida beaches in the summer of 2010.  Image: Tampa Bay Times.

Beach goers react to oiling of northern Florida beaches in the summer of 2010. Image: Tampa Bay Times.

I’m eating some squid nigiri and a baked crawfish California roll at my favorite sushi spot in Thousand Oaks to celebrate the end to this five-year escapade and pen this here blog entry. But enough about Tomodachi…back to the lawsuit.

This morning the final settlement for environmental impact-related lawsuits related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout (aka the Gulf Oil Spill,  aka the BP Oil Spill) was announced. British Petroleum agreed to pay $18.7 billion to settle a range of federal, state and local governmental claims stemming from their failed April 2010 effort to cement in/cap the successful exploratory well drilled 1,500 m below the surface of the ocean and 75 km (47 mi) off the Louisiana coastline. The ensuing three month-long “spill” (it was technically a blowout, but everyone calls it a spill and so I will adopt that de facto lingo from here on out) was the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history and second largest overall oil spill in U.S. history (the largest being the Lakeview Gusher that blewout on land 100 years prior to the Deepwater Horizon in southcentral California; go check out the admission-free Western Kern Oil Museum to learn more, only about 90 minutes from Camarillo).

As with so many things these days, I am of two minds when it comes to this settlement. The reality is that it will not make us whole relative to the impacts incurred from the 2010 spill. But I also know that our legal system is not up to the task of making us whole.  The entire premise of an adversarial arena to settle technical questions is, quite frankly, a joke.  But human nature being what it is, this is the system we are stuck with and the convention we have at hand. Given the litigious context in which we live, this was probably the best we could hope for as far as rapidly recovering funds to repair the environmental damage incurred across the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced Thursday morning that BP has reached an agreement with U.S. authorities on an $18.7 billion settlement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Photo: Mark Ballard, Louisiana Advocate.

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced Thursday morning that BP has reached an agreement with U.S. authorities on an $18.7 billion settlement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Mark Ballard, Louisiana Advocate.

Properly interpreting the BP settlement

Step 1: The Reality

Lets begin with a clear statement of impact: The Louisiana coastal, offshore, and deep benthic regions bore the brunt of the ecological impacts from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Step 2: Everyone Wants a Piece

As soon as oil starts erupting from the containment vessel or pipe, people start sticking their hands out. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, every Gulf State ran to the front of the line with both hands out saying “What about me?” Leave out the fact that most of these governments have actively sought to limit regulatory oversight of the oil and gas industry and to properly mitigate for the impacts stemming from their own anti-wetland/anti-coastline policies (completely separate from oil or gas). Since the first week of May 2010, everything from the federal RESTOR act to the GOMRI has emphasized that money needs to flow to all of these Gulf States before anyone/anywhere else. So Texas and Florida get their slice even though any impacts to those areas from Deepwater Horizon oil were minimal at best. That translates into less for Louisiana’s environment.

Another large chunk of funds from this settlement will go to compensate for knock-on economic impacts of the spill such as shuttered oyster houses, hoteliers who experienced cancelled reservations, etc. That also translates into less for Louisiana’s environment.

Add to the all this the fact that the northern Gulf of Mexico was the most poorly studied and monitored region of the United States prior to the 2010 disaster. This was the only region of the United States without a Long-Term Ecological Research site (funded by the NSF), the location with the poorest array of littoral monitoring sites (ala our MARINe network here in California), etc. This all has made our estimating of the true magnitude of impacts from the spill difficult; if you fell off of edge of fog-shrouded cliff, you are hard pressed to know if you are perched 10 or 100 or 1,000 feet from the safety of the cliff-top trail.

Step 3: The Settlement By the Numbers:

Overall BP Payout: $18.7 billion

  • $7.1 billion (over 15 years) for mitigating impacts documented by the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA; a federal effort governed by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990). Note that BP will claim they are spending $8.1 billion. In reality they will only be expending $7.1 from here forward as they are to be given credit for the nearly $1 billion they have spent to date on NRDA-related recovery projects prior to July 2010.
  • $5.5 billion (over 15 years) for civil penalties dictated by the Clean Water Act. Note that much of this is a formulaic, dictated by how much oil (I think they have ignored the gas emissions) was released. This was also the reason BP was so strenuously challenging the world’s best estimate of the real amount of oil that was released from the wellhead (from the Joint Flow Rate Technical Group), ultimately getting Judge Barbier estimate of oil released lowered from the actual value of 4.19 million barrels to 3.19 million barrels.
  • $4.9 billion (over 18 years) for economic claims.
  • $232 million will be slated to cover any further damages not documented as of this morning. From their accounting tables, it looks like this will be held in reserve until the 18th year unless there is a credible argument put forth to access this sooner.
  • <$1 billion to resolve claims from more than 400 local governments.

Texas: $388 million

  • $238 million for NRDA (no Clean Water Act violation penalties were articulated).
  • $150 million for economic damages.

Louisiana: $6.8 billion

  • $5 billion for NRDA.
  • $787 million in Clean Water Act penalties.
  • $1 billion for economic impacts

This settlement will bring Louisiana’s total funding from BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster to around $10 billion, more than any of the other Gulf state.  Reacting to the settlement announcement, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal noted “these funds will allow us to build on the momentum gained through the state’s increased investment in coastal protection and restoration since 2008.”  And if you believe Louisiana has seriously invested large sums in coastal restoration since 2008 or that Governor Jindal’s administration is even vaguely interested or capable of effectively launching such an investment, then I have a bridge to sell you…

Mississippi: $1.5 billion

  • $183 million for NRDA
  • $582 million for Clean Water Act penalties.
  • $750 million for economic damage

Alabama: $1.3 billion

  • $296 million for NRDA (no Clean Water Act violation penalties were articulated).
  • $1 billion for economic damages

Florida: $3.25 billion

  • $1.25 billion for NRDA and Clean Water Act violations (no press release has adequately distinguished these two categories sufficiently for me break these down further).
  • $2 billion for its economic loss claims.

Environmental protection for Governor of Florida Rick Scott has historically been a very low priority.  His historic actions imply his interest in the environment is limited.  As long as something looks aesthetically pleasing, that appears to be good for this public servant.  He was happy to note that this money will help “keep our state beautiful.” Good luck with that one.

BP: Mostly Upsides

This year has mostly been about upsides for BP.  In addition to their successfully getting the estimate of oil released lowered, the company will be paying $7 billion less than it originally estimated it might have to pay for ecological impacts.  In addition, all of the NRDA-related payments are classified as compensatory (unlike the Clean Water Act payments) and so will be tax deductible.  Can anyone say “flat tax?”  Also keep in mind that all of these payments will take place over 15 or 18 years.

In case you were wondering, BP reported gross profits (not gross revenue) of $4.13 billion in for the first three months of 2015 alone.  For post blowout period (2011-2014), BP has reported gross profits of $199.85 billion.  The settlement is 9.4% of that amount.  Lots of money to be sure, but a minor bump all things considered. Investors agree with BP shares closing today up 4.7%.

Step 4: Putting that money to work

Given the paucity of pre-2010 data across the region and sheer technical difficulties of restoring pelagic or abyssal communities, most of this NRDA and Clean Water Act funds will be directed to coastal areas where we have much more experience and a more or less proven track record of recovering ecological functioning.  Most states have articulated their desire to spend these monies on restoring coastal bottomland hardwood forests, marsh, oyster beds, sea grass beds, etc.  And so now the political gamesmanship will kick into high gear.  Everyone and their brother will be arguing that their project really needs this money.  And given the fact that not all restoration projects cost the same (below see a classic example for the varying costs for restoring different types of wetlands, which I have adjusted to 2015 dollars), coastal resource managers will find themselves very popular over the coming months and years.  Don’t worry about political interference from state capitols. That never, ever, ever happens in Louisiana.


Healing the Louisiana delta

Louisiana is unfortunately the home to greatest magnitude of wetland loss in the lower 48 states.  Setting the politics, selection criteria, and such aside, several folks asked me today if this amount of money will be “enough” to help improve the condition of our degrading Louisiana coastline.  As a classic academic, my answer is of course “no, it is never enough.”  In this case, I might actually be right.  These monies will be a huge shot in the arm for Louisiana coastal restoration (roughly $500 million a year for 15 years), but a far cry from what we need to get the Mississippi Delta into an even vaguely sustainable state.

classic estimate of average costs to restore 1 acre of wetland<br>note: estimates exclude land acquisition costs

So, how much would we need spend?

In 2012, the State of Louisiana put forth their Coastal Master Plan.  This plan called for $50 billion dollars to be spent over 50 years on a wide array of projects.  In classic Louisiana style the state has actively chosen to not fund this fully themselves (going so far as to pass legislation declaring illegal efforts to hold wetland destroyers to account).  Political leaders to date have relied instead on petitions to the federal government and this much hoped for BP settlement to underwrite their effort.

We can also contrast the scale of this BP funding to a quick glance at our demonstration large-scale coastal and wetland restoration efforts to date in Louisiana.  These example projects below are funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, (CWPPRA pronounced quip-rah), a program launched in 1990 to identify, prepare, and fund construction of large-scale coastal wetlands restoration projects.  These projects are mostly experiments designed to prove a restoration concept or test a methodology.

CWPPRA Project List

Project NameLead AgencyProject TypesParishesCurrent EstimateNet Acres Benefited
No Name Bayou Marsh CreationNMFSMarsh CreationCameron28253136497
Shell Beach South Marsh CreationEPAMarsh CreationSt. Bernard28101518344
New Orleans Landbridge Shoreline StablizationUSFWSMarsh CreationOrleans17549317167
West Fourchon Marsh Creation & NourishmentNMFSMarsh CreationLafourche29405764304
Caminada Headlands Back Barrier Marsh CreationEPAMarsh CreationLafourche31034094181
Bayou Grande Cheniere Marsh & Ridge RestorationUSFWSMarsh CreationPlaquemines29104945264
South Grand Chenier Marsh Creation - Baker TractNRCSMarsh CreationCameron25441833393
Island Road Marsh Creation & NourishmentNMFSMarsh CreationTerrebonne39185267312
Bayou Dupont Sediment DeliveryEPAMarsh CreationJefferson, Plaquemines38279163383
Terracing & Marsh Creation South of Big MarUSFWSMarsh Creation, TerracingPlaquemines23692705303
Cameron Meadows Marsh Creation and TerracingNMFSMarsh Creation, TerracingCameron27685820264
North Catfish Lake Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh CreationLafourche30385887401
Northwest Turtle Bay Marsh CreationUSFWSMarsh CreationJefferson23198757407
Oyster Bayou Marsh Creation and TerracingNMFSMarsh Creation, TerracingCameron29781355433
LaBranche Central Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh CreationSt. Charles42159208731
Cole's Bayou Marsh RestorationNMFSMarsh Creation, Hydrologic RestorationVermilion26631224398
Kelso Bayou Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh CreationCameron16632765274
Cameron-Creole Watershed Grand Bayou Marsh CreationUSFWSMarsh CreationCameron23405612476
Coastwide Vegetative PlantingNRCSVegetative Planting12689725779
Bayou Bonfouca Marsh CreationUSFWSMarsh CreationSt. Tammany23875866478
Terrebonne Bay Marsh Creation-NourishmentUSFWSMarsh CreationTerrebonne27414401353
Cheniere Ronquille Barrier Island RestorationNMFSBarrier Island RestorationPlaquemines43828285308
Freshwater Bayou Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh CreationVermilion25523755279
LaBranche East Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh CreationSt. Charles32323291715
Lost Lake Marsh Creation and Hydrologic RestorationUSFWSMarsh CreationTerrebonne34626728452
Grand Liard Marsh and Ridge RestorationNMFSMarsh CreationPlaquemines42579616370
Bertrandville Siphon (Deauthorized)EPAFreshwater DiversionPlaquemines225782781613
Cameron-Creole Freshwater IntroductionNRCSFreshwater DiversionCameron12787044473
Non-Rock Alternatives to Shoreline Protection DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration61086990
Central Terrebonne Freshwater EnhancementNRCSHydrologic RestorationTerrebonne16640120233
West Pointe a la Hache Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh CreationPlaquemines16136639203
Bayou Dupont Marsh and Ridge CreationNMFSMarsh CreationJefferson38539615186
South Lake Lery Shoreline and Marsh RestorationUSFWSOutfall Management32466987409
Bio-Engineered Oyster Reef DemonstrationNMFSDemonstration2291276.220
Sediment Containment System for Marsh Creation DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration11633430
Alligator Bend Marsh Restoration and Shoreline Protection (Inactive)NRCSMarsh CreationOrleans29891722181
Madison Bay Marsh Creation and TerracingNMFSMarsh CreationTerrebonne38798788334
West Belle Pass Barrier Headland RestorationNMFSMarsh Creation, Barrier HeadlandLafourche42250417305
Enhancement of Barrier Island Vegetation DemonstrationEPADemonstration, Vegetative Planting9195990
Lake Hermitage Marsh CreationUSFWSMarsh CreationPlaquemines38300898447
Venice Ponds Marsh Creation and Crevasses (Inactive)EPAMarsh Creation, Water DiversionPlaquemines1074522318
South Shore of the Pen Shoreline Protection and Marsh CreationNRCSShoreline ProtectionJefferson21639574106
East Marsh Island Marsh CreationEPAMarsh CreationIberia23025451169
Shoreline Protection Foundation Improvements DemonstrationCOEDemonstration, Shoreline StabilizationVermilion10550000
Goose Point/Point Platte Marsh CreationUSFWSMarsh CreationSt. Tammany14558123.48436
Whiskey Island Back Barrier Marsh CreationEPABarrier Island Restoration, Marsh CreationTerrebonne30414086272
Bayou Dupont Sediment Delivery SystemEPAMarsh Creation, Dredged MaterialJefferson, Plaquemines27702940.56326
Floating Marsh Creation DemonstrationNRCSMarsh Creation, DemonstrationJefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St. Mary, Terrebonne, St. John the Baptist10808910
South White Lake Shoreline ProtectionCOEShoreline ProtectionVermilion14466980.83844
Barataria Basin Landbridge Shoreline Protection, Phase 4NRCSShoreline ProtectionJefferson17709216.57256
Pass Chaland to Grand Bayou Pass Barrier Shoreline RestorationNMFSBarrier Island RestorationPlaquemines40710723.33263
Dedicated Dredging on the Barataria Basin LandbridgeUSFWSMarsh CreationJefferson16286153242
Little Lake Shoreline Protection/ Dedicated Dredging Near Round LakeNMFSMarsh Creation, Shoreline ProtectionLafourche29442353.14713
Barataria Barrier Island Complex Project: Pelican Island & Pass La MerNMFSBarrier Island RestorationPlaquemines77290188334
Holly Beach Sand ManagementNRCSShoreline ProtectionCameron14130232.86330
Coastwide Nutria Control ProgramNRCSHerbivory ControlAscension, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Vermilion, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, Assumption, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, Lafayette, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, Tangipahoa68040614.4114963
South Grand Chenier Marsh CreationUSFWSHydrologic RestorationCameron22623346414
Grand Lake Shoreline ProtectionNRCSShoreline ProtectionCameron1005561645
West Lake Boudreaux Shoreline Protection and Marsh CreationUSFWSMarsh Creation, Shoreline ProtectionTerrebonne19449961.1277
Ship Shoal: Whiskey West Flank Restoration (Inactive)EPABarrier Island RestorationTerrebonne3742053195
Raccoon Island Shoreline Protection/Marsh CreationNRCSMarsh Creation, Shoreline ProtectionTerrebonne2011479271
Hydrologic Restoration and Vegetative Planting in the des Allemands SwampEPAFreshwater DiversionSt. James8263731941
Delta Management at Fort St. PhilipUSFWSSediment and Nutrient Trapping, Outfall ManagementPlaquemines2739727.47267
East Sabine Lake Hydrologic RestorationUSFWSHydrologic RestorationCameron6049989.79225
Rockefeller Refuge Gulf Shoreline StabilizationNMFSShoreline ProtectionCameron28082507256
Grand-White Lakes Landbridge ProtectionUSFWSShoreline ProtectionCameron8584333.73213
Lake Borgne Shoreline ProtectionEPAShoreline ProtectionSt. Bernard27520807.84165
GIWW Bank Restoration of Critical Areas in TerrebonneNRCSShoreline ProtectionTerrebonne1302224664
North Lake Mechant Landbridge RestorationUSFWSMarsh Creation, Vegetative Planting, Dredged MaterialTerrebonne36734873604
Terrebonne Bay Shore Protection DemonstrationUSFWSDemonstration, Shoreline ProtectionTerrebonne2718818.220
Barataria Basin Landbridge Shoreline Protection, Phase 3NRCSShoreline ProtectionJefferson46231597264
Black Bayou Culverts Hydrologic RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationCameron16399059540
GIWW - Perry Ridge West Bank StabilizationNRCSShoreline ProtectionCalcasieu2204708.7483
Freshwater Introduction South of Highway 82USFWSHydrologic RestorationCameron6197671.42296
Chandeleur Islands Marsh RestorationNMFSBarrier Island RestorationPlaquemines, St. Bernard839927.3220
New Cut Dune and Marsh RestorationEPABarrier Island RestorationTerrebonne10652277.27102
South Lake Decade Freshwater IntroductionNRCSFreshwater Diversion, Shoreline ProtectionTerrebonne5223806202
Timbalier Island Dune and Marsh CreationEPABarrier Island RestorationTerrebonne15225089.67273
Mandalay Bank Protection DemonstrationUSFWSDemonstration, Shoreline ProtectionTerrebonne1732498.120
Freshwater Bayou Bank Stabilization - Belle Isle Canal to Lock (Inactive)COEShoreline StabilizationVermilion1101737.99241
Four Mile Canal Terracing and Sediment TrappingNMFSSediment and Nutrient TrappingVermilion3792936.24167
Sabine Refuge Marsh Creation, Cycle 1COEMarsh CreationCameron3422432.76214
Sabine Refuge Marsh Creation, Cycle 2COEMarsh CreationCameron14351767.76261
Sabine Refuge Marsh Creation, Cycle 3COEMarsh CreationCameron3038248187
Sabine Refuge Marsh Creation, Cycles 4 and 5USFWSMarsh CreationCameron10328064331
Humble Canal Hydrologic RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationCameron1574926.34378
Hopedale Hydrologic RestorationNMFSHydrologic RestorationSt. Bernard2281286.68134
Lake Portage Land BridgeNRCSShoreline ProtectionVermilion1181128.9224
Barataria Basin Landbridge Shoreline Protection, Phases 1 and 2NRCSShoreline ProtectionJefferson27852110.921304
Vegetative Plantings of a Dredged Material Disposal Site on Grand Terre IslandNMFSVegetative PlantingJefferson346245.99127
Pecan Island TerracingNMFSSediment and Nutrient TrappingVermilion2390984.44442
Thin Mat Floating Marsh Enhancement DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration, Marsh EnhancementTerrebonne538100.790
Barataria Bay Waterway East Side Shoreline ProtectionNRCSShoreline ProtectionJefferson5224476.97217
Black Bayou Hydrologic RestorationNMFSHydrologic RestorationCalcasieu, Cameron6500707.113594
Nutria Harvest for Wetland Restoration DemonstrationUSFWSDemonstration, Herbivory ControlCalcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Vermilion, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, Assumption, Livingston, Tangipahoa806220.050
Delta Wide CrevassesNMFSWater DiversionPlaquemines4728318.752386
Dustpan Maintenance Dredging OperationCOEMarsh Creation, DemonstrationPlaquemines1909020.360
North Lake Boudreaux Basin Freshwater IntroductionUSFWSWater DiversionTerrebonne25766765266
Penchant Basin Natural Resources Plan, Increment 1NRCSHydrologic RestorationTerrebonne17628814675
Oaks/Avery Canal Hydrologic Restoration, Increment 1NRCSHydrologic RestorationIberia, Vermilion2925215.88160
Marsh Island Hydrologic RestorationCOEHydrologic RestorationIberia5143323.48408
Sediment Trapping at "The Jaws"NMFSSediment and Nutrient TrappingSt. Mary1653791.981999
Cheniere Au Tigre Sediment Trapping DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration, Sediment and Nutrient TrappingVermilion624999.420
Naomi Outfall ManagementNRCSOutfall ManagementJefferson, Plaquemines2286063.84633
Sweet Lake/Willow Lake Hydrologic RestorationNRCSShoreline ProtectionCameron3929151.57247
Freshwater Bayou Bank StabilizationNRCSShoreline ProtectionVermilion5609593.06511
Bayou Chevee Shoreline ProtectionCOEShoreline ProtectionOrleans2589403.0175
Raccoon Island Breakwaters DemonstrationNRCSBarrier Island Restoration, DemonstrationTerrebonne1751046.070
Little Vermilion Bay Sediment TrappingNMFSShoreline Protection, Sediment TrappingVermilion886029.62441
Barataria Bay Waterway West Side Shoreline ProtectionNRCSShoreline ProtectionJefferson3013365.37232
Perry Ridge Shore ProtectionNRCSShoreline ProtectionCalcasieu2289090.41203
Plowed Terraces DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration, Sediment and Nutrient TrappingCameron325640.540
East Timbalier Island Sediment Restoration, Phase 2NMFSBarrier Island RestorationLafourche7600150.49215
West Pointe a la Hache Outfall ManagementNRCSHydrologic Restoration, Outfall ManagementPlaquemines5370526646
Lake Salvador Shoreline Protection DemonstrationNMFSDemonstration, Shoreline ProtectionSt. Charles2801782.420
Cameron-Creole MaintenanceNRCSHydrologic RestorationCameron46443712602
Replace Sabine Refuge Water Control StructuresUSFWSMarsh ManagementCameron6177135.15953
Channel Armor Gap CrevasseCOESediment DiversionPlaquemines888984.67936
Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) Disposal Area Marsh ProtectionCOEMarsh CreationSt. Bernard318445.27755
East Timbalier Island Sediment Restoration, Phase 1NMFSBarrier Island RestorationLafourche3621543.581913
Lake Chapeau Sediment Input and Hydrologic Restoration, Point Au Fer IslandNMFSHydrologic Restoration, Marsh CreationTerrebonne6847811.87509
Whiskey Island RestorationEPABarrier Island RestorationTerrebonne7043188.21239
Brady Canal Hydrologic RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationTerrebonne7593751.69297
Cote Blanche Hydrologic RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationSt. Mary10093908.862223
Atchafalaya Sediment DeliveryNMFSHydrologic Restoration, Marsh Creation, Dredged MaterialSt. Mary2455669.052232
Big Island MiningNMFSHydrologic Restoration, Marsh Creation, Dredged MaterialSt. Mary7003101.791560
Jonathan Davis Wetland RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationJefferson28894638.64510
Caernarvon Diversion Outfall ManagementNRCSOutfall ManagementPlaquemines4536000802
East Mud Lake Marsh ManagementNRCSMarsh ManagementCameron5392755.361520
Highway 384 Hydrologic RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationCameron1586227.37150
Clear Marais Bank ProtectionCOEShoreline ProtectionCalcasieu3696087.791067
Freshwater Bayou Wetland ProtectionNRCSHydrologic Restoration, Shoreline ProtectionVermilion6059652.911593
Fritchie Marsh RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationSt. Tammany2201673.791040
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge Hydrologic Restoration, Phase 2USFWSHydrologic RestorationOrleans1692551.581280
Point Au Fer Canal PlugsNMFSHydrologic Restoration, Shoreline StabilizationTerrebonne5544367.22375
West Belle Pass Headland RestorationCOEShoreline Protection, Dredged MaterialLafourche6826754.41474
Isles Dernieres Restoration Trinity IslandEPABarrier Island RestorationTerrebonne10774974.19109
Boston Canal/Vermilion Bay Bank ProtectionNRCSShoreline Protection, Vegetative PlantingVermilion1043748.21378
GIWW (Gulf Intracoastal Waterway) to Clovelly Hydrologic RestorationNRCSHydrologic RestorationLafourche12896358.2175
Barataria Bay Waterway Wetland RestorationCOEMarsh CreationJefferson1167831.94445
Cameron Creole PlugsUSFWSHydrologic RestorationCameron1258100.84865
Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Erosion ProtectionUSFWSShoreline ProtectionCameron16026565542
West Hackberry Vegetative Planting DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration, Sediment Trapping, Vegetative PlantingCameron256250.870
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Shoreline ProtectionUSFWSShoreline ProtectionCameron1227123.44247
West Bay Sediment DiversionCOEWater DiversionPlaquemines508635039831
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge Hydrologic Restoration, Phase 1USFWSHydrologic RestorationOrleans1680193.181550
Bayou LaBranche Wetland CreationCOEMarsh CreationSt. Charles3786069.71203
Falgout Canal Planting DemonstrationNRCSDemonstration, Shoreline Protection, Vegetative PlantingTerrebonne206522.810
Timbalier Island Planting DemonstrationNRCSBarrier Island Restoration, Demonstration, Vegetative PlantingTerrebonne300492.470
Isles Dernieres Restoration East IslandEPABarrier Island RestorationTerrebonne8762415.779
Vermilion River Cutoff Bank ProtectionCOEShoreline ProtectionVermilion2047478.7165
Coastwide Reference Monitoring SystemUSGSMonitoringAscension, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Vermilion, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, Assumption, Jefferson Davis, Acadia, Lafayette, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, Tangipahoa114607082

These projects in total cost just over $2 billion.  This BP-provided funding will help out, but this alone will not solve the problem; rolling out these efforts for “real” will take at least an order of magnitude more funding.

Relevance for the Refugio Oil Spill

I hope the relevant authorities dealing with our current Refugio Spill will avoid the litigious track and be able to work out a reasonable settlement quickly and out of court.  Dragging out these adversarial conflicts for months and years and decades helps no one and no ecosystem.

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